Hock boots- good idea? - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 Old 03-07-2012, 12:46 PM Thread Starter
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Hock boots- good idea?

Hey everyone,
I would like some comments on the use of boots(or braces) for horses as I am not very familiar with them and have never used them before.
Now, my boy is quite sicklehocked, and appears weak in the back legs. He has no problem with any of his gaits and is sound, but I can see his hocks having issues down the road because of his poor comformation. I was in the tack store the other day, and saw some hock boots that said where good for extra support in the area, and had magnetic strips that are supposed to help with circulation and arthritis (he does not have arthritis now, but its a good possibility he will get it when he gets older).
He will only be used for light trail riding and arena work as he's not built correctly for any hard work and I want him to stay sound for as long as possible.
Would it be beneficial to get these boots and use them when riding to give him some extra support to help prevent injuries?
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post #2 of 6 Old 03-07-2012, 06:19 PM
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Magnetic boots should not be used while the horse is working. They are intended to be worn overnight or through the day, when the horse is in a confined area such as a stable or small yard, and should not be left on for more than 12 hours.
A hock boot is not going to support the joint terribly much. When you look at how much weight that joint is holding up, a flimsy boot isn't going to do much for it when you're riding.
The best thing you can do is feed a joint supplement, such as MSM, and make sure that you keep the horse fit and strong enough behind - no leaving him in the paddock for a month then jumping on and going for a gallop.

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post #3 of 6 Old 03-07-2012, 07:38 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the advice. I was looking online and did find some that were meant for riding (neoprene, no magnetic strips). He is only 3 1\2, but I would like to keep him sound as long as possible and think ahead. Is it ok to start a joint supplement at this age? I also don't plan to do anything faster than a trot, maybe small amount of cantering on him ever just to lessen the amount of strain on his hocks. He will only be used for light area\train work. I know I may be babying him a bit, but I would rather do less with him, and have him sound, then work him hard and have issues by the time he's in his early teens.
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post #4 of 6 Old 03-07-2012, 08:03 PM
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If you use something like MSM, then yes, perfectly fine for that age. I have had so many problems with my last horse and joint issues with the hocks, so my yearling is already on a low dose of msm+glucosamine just for my peace of mind.
I really wouldn't bother with hock boots though - waste of money IMO, they won't support the joint

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post #5 of 6 Old 03-07-2012, 10:07 PM
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I agree with Kayty that I doubt they will give much support; but if they do, you also run the risk of overusing them and your horse not developing the proper muscles and risking injury when not wearing the boots.

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post #6 of 6 Old 03-08-2012, 04:16 AM Thread Starter
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That's what I thought may happen. Thanks for your suggestion. I'll stick him on a joint supplement and forget the boots- the were quite pricey anyways. My farrier said last night that a chiro might help, and I was planning to ask the vet if she thought x-rays may be a good idea just to see how the bones are lined up.
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